Don’t Spend Big Bucks on These Couples Retreats
With so much variety in location and attractions, Georgia makes it easy to find an inexpensive romantic getaway. Maybe you both like the hustle and bustle of the city, or maybe you prefer the quiet solitude of the mountains. Perhaps you want to do some sightseeing, or instead you’d rather lounge by the pool. No matter which you choose, you’ll find an affordable option in Georgia. So when the kids are staying at the grandparents or enjoying time at camp, pack your bags and hit the road to one of these five budget destinations.
Get Close to the Action
There’s no question Atlanta offers a lot of options for a romantic vacation, but the cities around Atlanta also provide a great escape and at a lower cost. For example, the city of Marietta is filled with choices to put on your itinerary. Spend a day on the Marietta Square, enjoying a variety of shopping and dining options. Just minutes from the square, the Chicken and the Egg (800 Whitlock Ave. No. 124, Marietta, GA) serves up seasonal farm-to-table cuisine that is perfect for a dinner for two. For accommodations, choose one of the many hotel brands in the area, or book a room at the Stanley House Inn (236 Church St., Marietta, GA) within walking distance of the square.
Make the Most of the Great Outdoors
For couples who love being outside, check into one of the cabins or cottages at a Georgia state park. There are many to choose from that fit every budget, and they often are located on lakes or hillsides that provide gorgeous views. There are even some unique choices, like the historic 1930s stone cottages at F. D. Roosevelt State Park (2970 Georgia Highway 190, Pine Mountain, GA) or the round “barrel” cottages in Unicoi State Park (1788 Georgia Highway 356, Helen, GA). All cabins are fully equipped with full kitchens, plus heating and air. Additional amenities such as televisions, screened porches and fireplaces are available at select properties.
Stroll Through the Gardens
If you want a drive, stay and play retreat, consider Callaway Gardens (17800 U.S. Highway 27, Pine Mountain, GA). When it’s time to play, hit one of the golf courses, play in the trees on the ropes course or bike through the gardens. When it’s time to relax, kick back on Robin Lake Beach. Callaway Gardens also is home to a number of restaurants and accommodations, all offering a variety of price ranges to fit every budget. For even more savings, stay outside the gardens at one of the local hotels or bed-and-breakfasts.
Explore an Alpine Village
Located in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains, Helen welcomes visitors to come explore a variety of sights and attractions in this Bavarian town. Float on a tube down the Chattahoochee River, pick up a souvenir at one of the many local shops or enjoy a meal at a variety of restaurants. Accommodations are just as varied, with cabins, bed-and-breakfasts, vacation rentals, camping and traditional hotels all available. Just make sure you grab a sweet treat at Hofer’s of Helen Bakery and Cafe (8758 N. Main St., Helen, GA) before you head home.
Enjoy Big Entertainment on a Smaller Scale
Those looking for a big-city experience for an affordable price will find just that in Cartersville. Located about an hour northwest of Atlanta, Cartersville contains all the attractions you want in a big city: arts, culture, sports, dining, shopping and more. For instance, check out the Booth Western Art Museum (501 Museum Dr., Cartersville, GA) for some amazing art, or head to the Grand Theatre (7 N. Wall St., Cartersville, GA) for a night of drama. In downtown Cartersville, you’ll also find a great selection of local dining and shopping spots. Accommodations range from traditional hotel brands and bed-and-breakfasts to campgrounds and resorts.
When to Visit
Georgia maintains a moderate climate most of the year, but the seasons are noticeable. Winter is more apparent in the higher elevations of North Georgia, with spots of snow at times. Likewise, summer is definitely hot and humid the farther south you go and along the coast. Spring and fall usually always offer the best weather conditions, but this also means more travelers are out and about in the state. Atlanta stays busy all the time, so consult the city’s calendar of events to find out peak times to avoid.
- The Chick and the Egg
- Stanley House Inn
- Georgia Department of Natural Resources: Cabins and Cottages at Georgia State Parks
- Callaway Gardens
- Alpine Helen/White County Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Hofer’s of Helen and Cafe
- Cartersville-Bartow County, GA, Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Booth Western Art Museum
- Explore Georgia
Karon Warren has covered travel for nearly 20 years with numerous print and online publications. Her byline has appeared in USA Today, USA Today’s 10 Best, WorkingMother.com, FamilyVacationCritic.com. and many others. She is a member of both the Society of American Travel Writers and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. In addition to her freelance work for other clients, she also writes for her own travel site, ThisGirlTravels.com